Marburg haemorrhagic fever in Angola - update 4
31 March 2005
As of 30 March, 132 cases have been reported. These cases include 12 health care workers. Of the 132 cases, 127 have been fatal. This is the largest number of fatalities ever recorded during an outbreak of this rare, but extremely severe disease.
Mobile surveillance teams have been established and are investigating rumours of additional cases in Uige Province, which remains the epicentre of the outbreak. A mobile field laboratory provided by the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory arrived yesterday, was set up in Uige today, and will become operational tomorrow. A dedicated isolation facility, operated by Médecins sans Frontières, is preparing to receive further cases that may be identified by the mobile surveillance teams.
Additional staff from the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and WHO will be arriving over the weekend. Two logisticians will join teams in Uige and Luanda. A data manager, media coordinator, and medical anthropologist will also be arriving over the weekend.
WHO has despatched a further 500 kg of personal protective equipment and other supplies to assist in the immediate improvement of infection control in hospitals and the protection of front-line staff. To facilitate real-time coordination of response operations, WHO has despatched mobile communication field kits, which should greatly expedite the flow of information.